March 28, 2011

Peninsula Hot Springs

Springs Lane, Rye (melways ref 169 A11)

My son has never looked so clean. Indeed, after two hours of soaking in warm thermal pools at Peninsula Hot Springs in Rye, our whole family look shiny and new – quite a different picture to two hours earlier when we arrived fresh from Kmart in our bargain basement bathers – yes mummy forgot to pack the swimwear and yes it didn’t go down well with anyone!

Despite looking like we just stepped off a P&O cruise (especially mummy in her brighter than bright, tighter than tight, teenage bathers), we all had a great time at the Springs and its’ certainly a place I would recommend for the under-fives as long as you’re aware of its limitations and come prepared.

Firstly, It is an expensive place to visit as a family. For our family of five, it cost $90 - $30 for each adult, $15 for kids over 4, and $10 for under 4’s (including infants). For this reason, I would classify Peninsula Springs as a special treat activity. They also discourage prams, despite the lift and sufficient space to park them. One must remember that this is somewhere that most people come to relax, so you need to be conscious of your conduct as a young family and try to avoid the kind of behaviour that belongs at your local pool. This is not to say that you can’t have fun. The infant bathing area has a large shallow pool, surrounded by half wine barrel baths and large shells with taps. Our kids played happily in this area, drowning little iggle piggle and throwing a ball, without appearing to bother other patrons. Even in the other pools, with their abundance of women and eastern European men, the kids were happily received. It helps that most under fours wouldn’t reach the bottom in the adult pools so they are in your arms and more easily subdued. The reflexology walk (a shallow riverbank with different stones underfoot) and the cave pool were a favourite with our family, but on a cold day, the 38 degree pool may seem a little warm for infants.

Ideally this is the place you would visit as a couple with one child under-five for, in this scenario, you would both get the opportunity to explore the not so child-friendly options such as the Turkish steam bath, and avoid the need for a pram.

Peninsula Hot Springs is open every day from 7.30am to 10pm. Bookings are not required for the public bathing area. For further information, visit the Peninsula Hot Springs website or contact them on 5950 8777.

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